The SANS Sessions, in June, in London, attracted a nice line-up of musical guests including Louai Alhenawi playing ney and daf, fiddler Ric Sanders, and voice from Erika Hammarberg: all adding to that element of surprise that's essential to a SANS gig. (The only constant seems to be that - according to singer Sanna Kurki-Suonio - all the songs are about porridge. None of the rest of us have good enough Finnish to know if this is true…)
SANS visits Poland in July for the EtnoKraków festival on the 7th.
The soundworlds for the ACT's Historic Places are coming together: I've been recording pop music from the 1920s sung around the Calthorpes' House piano, and folksong in the kitchen of Lanyon Homestead along with fiddling on the verandah and some parlour music on the recently restored Broadwood. There'll be a concert in November featuring new music for this piano: all part of this project, Performing the Past, initiated by Canberra musician, curator and historian Jenny Gall.
Jenny, plus Canberra-connected composers Sandy France, Alistair Noble and myself will be writing and performing for this event. I'm working on a couple of pieces using recordings from the pianos at two of Canberra's historic houses, Lanyon and Mugga Mugga: the pianos had been left to themselves for years, preparing their own distinctive soundworlds, and recordings of them in this state contribute to an electroacoustic layer in compositions for those same instruments newly-restored. Here's a clip of Erin Helyard at the Lanyon Broadwood after its rejuvenation by piano whisperer Chris Leslie.
At this year's National Folk Festival I indulged in noisily nostalgic folk-rock, playing suitably trouserflapping bass lines for The Bluetongue Dance Band, while the bass ukulele had a bluesy outing with the Guitar Cases. And in the studio, I'm continuing with Lynne Pilbrow's FunMusic for Little Kids project. We've been working together on Animals, Transport and Christmas themes: now it's Down in the Garden, which means lots of fun field recording without going far afield. Here's a taste of the Transport collection:
(It's a Welsh seal, by the way: from Ynys Enlli...)